Japan has finally lifted its COVID-19 state of emergency on October 1, 2021, for the first time in six months, as the country now experiences a decline in virus infections among its citizens.
Businesses, food establishments, event spaces, and theme parks are now able to increase their maximum number of daily visitors and extend opening hours. Izakayas (pubs) in certain prefectures like Tokyo are also allowed to start serving alcohol to customers.
But what does this mean for tourists hoping to travel to Japan again soon?
Travel Restrictions to Japan
Unfortunately, an entry ban is still in place for most foreign visitors. Only those coming from the following countries and have stayed there for at least 14 days may travel to Japan:
- New Zealand
- South Korea (via Tokyo Narita Airport only)
Note that the entry ban does not affect those who are: Japanese nationals, spouses or children of Japanese nationals, passengers with Special Permanent Residence Permit plus a re-entry permit or embarkation and disembarkation card, residents of Japan with a re-entry permit, diplomatic or official visa holders, US military personnel, and visa holders with special permission forms.
Visa exemptions are also still suspended and most visas issued before March 2020 are considered invalid and unusable. All foreign travelers (permitted to travel to Japan) must now apply for a Japanese visa prior to entering the country. Those with travel plans to Japan must also complete the Quarantine Questionnaire or Travel Health Certificate at any point before passing through Japanese immigration control.
Quarantine Procedure for Travelers
Originally, travelers must self-isolate at a designated quarantine facility for 14 days upon arrival to Japan.
Now, fully vaccinated travelers need not undergo quarantine unless they are from certain countries specified by officials who will need to spend at least 6 days in a special quarantine location.
Meanwhile, Japanese nationals are advised to self-isolate at home and avoid riding public transportation for 14 days.
What now for travelers from countries not included in the list of those allowed to enter Japan?
Most countries are still banned to enter Japan.
However, there’s a silver lining: as the country’s COVID-19 restrictions and regulations continue to ease up, those coming from other countries not included in the list above may soon be allowed to travel to Japan. So keep your eyes peeled for news and updates!
You can also check this website for more information.
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